The appliance repair business involves extensive field service. Technicians have to reach customer premises on time and do the repairs. The operations can descend into chaos and confusion without the direct supervision of technicians. 

Customers may wait for technicians who never arrive. The technicians who come may lack the spares to make the repairs. And, when work finally gets done, the technician may:

  • Be unaware of the service guarantee, leading to extensive follow-ups and customer dissatisfaction.
  • Skip some line items when preparing the invoice, leading to a loss for the service provider.

A good field service management software (FSM) streamlines field operations and pre-empts any such issues. When choosing one, ensure that the appliance repair field service software incorporates the following features and functionalities. 

1. Field Ticketing

A good field service management software converts new service requests to tickets, for easy tracking. This is crucial for appliance repair businesses when taking into account the volume of incoming service requests they have to handle on a daily basis. 

Traditional methods that rely on pen and paper may end up being incapable of accurately recording each request as they come. More importantly, sorting through each request and assigning them based on priority will turn out error-prone and disorganized if they are done on paper records. 

A field service solution with an inbuilt ticketing system makes it easier for front office personnel to instantly record and generate service requests from customers. Each raised ticket can be tracked and organized in the ticketing system to allow service managers to easily look up or update tickets anytime. Besides, it’s possible to convert the generated ticket into a work order or inspection and establish a clear lifecycle for the entire job for accountability purposes. 

2. Scheduling & Dispatching

The next step of converting these tickets and assigning jobs to field technicians is never easy. Field service success for appliance repair companies chiefly depends on the first-time fix. When a technician has to schedule a revisit, the entire effort until then goes to waste. The business suffers tremendous efficiency and revenue loss, and the delay frustrates the customer as well. Rescheduling jobs delay the execution of other work orders, leading to poor customer satisfaction.

The scheduler has to ensure the technician assigned for the appliance repair:

  • Has the skills and competencies for the job.
  • Is preferably the same technician who serviced the appliance the last time, for familiarity.
  • Is equipped with the spare parts and tools needed to execute the job.
  • Make the appointment at the customer’s preferred time.
  • Does not have any other jobs assigned during the time.

Scheduling is a dynamic exercise. The technicians may call in sick, forcing the scheduler to either reschedule the appointment or assign a new technician. Customers may also call in and request a reschedule. Some emergency jobs, such as a leak, may need immediate attention. Such changes require reassigning technicians and impact other jobs.

Scheduling jobs considering these dynamic factors are stressful and error-prone. A good field service suite automates these tasks. The suite offers easy calendar views to know the status of each technician and drag-and-drop options to make the assignment. The process becomes accurate and hassle-free, and the service provider avoids the costs of erroneous scheduling. 

Automated dispatching through the field management suite ensures route optimization. The suite guides the field crew to take the shortest and most cost-effective route to the destination. Improved on-time arrival rates and productivity boost efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Read more: Tips To Make Your Field Service Business Competitive With A Job Scheduling Software

3. Companion Mobile App

A field service management software with mobility enables seamless collaboration. The mobile app, downloaded to the field agent’s smartphone or tablet, leverages the device’s GPS to broadcast the real-time location of the field crew. The advantages of real-time tracking include:

  • Supervisors keep track of the field crew’s progress and intervene if there is a delay or lag.
  • Customers get an Uber-like tracking experience, with accurate ETAs.
  • Schedulers identify the nearest work crew to assign fresh work orders or divert them to attend to an emergency repair.

Field crews can collaborate through the mobile app. Routing communications through the app makes it easy to view messages with confirmation to the sender. Technicians may retrieve the message later without wasting precious time searching for it. Also, no important communication falls through the crack. Field technicians can also connect with a remote expert for clarifications. Consequently, the first-time fix improves.

The push notifications of field service mobile apps enable managers to: 

  • Notify field crews about new work assignments or any changes.
  • Offer links to the best routes to reach the assigned work location from their current location.
  • Issue reminders about upcoming jobs.

4. Powerful Dashboards and Forms

Paperless field audits and inspections enabled by field management software improve workflow efficiency.

The FSM software offers integrated dashboards that centralize information. Native integrations and APIs enable smooth data flow between databases, such as CRM, inventory, accounting, and human resource information systems. 

  • Customer support agents can easily access information about the customer and their appliances. They do not have to sift through papers or digital documents when they receive a call from the customer.
  • Field technicians get all relevant information to do the jobs at their fingertips. They get customer information, directions to reach the work site, appliance handbook and instruction manuals, service history, and a copy of the work order.

Forms and checklists render structure to the workflows. Integrated forms and checklists make handling complex jobs and follow-up inspections easy. Once the job is done, the FSM software auto-generates work completion reports, with minimal input from field technicians. The suite then emails these reports to managers, customers, and other reporting authorities.

5. Invoice Generation & Payment Processing

Automated invoice generation enables technicians to collect payments after work completion. Non-collection of payment immediately after work execution leads to more delays. Customers forget about it, and the service provider will have to make extra efforts to collect the payment.

When field technicians mark the work as complete, the FSM software collates invoice information from its various internal databases. Email client integration enables auto-dispatch of the generated invoice to the customers’ email once approved. 

Customers have multiple options to make the payment. The payment reflects in the integrated QuickBooks, Xero, or other accounting software, and also payroll. The streamlined and automated process improves cash flow and creates an air of professionalism.

Read more: Four Ways to Generate a Professional Invoice and Get Paid Faster

Why ReachOut Is the Perfect Field Management Solution for Appliance Repair Companies 

For appliance repair companies looking to enhance their service efficiency and operations, ReachOut Suite is the best choice there is. 

ReachOut Suite offers a comprehensive feature list with robust automation and integration capabilities. The field service suite digitizes end-to-end field service tasks, from scheduling to invoicing. Its advanced capabilities allow assigning jobs to a team and fixing individual responsibilities. Dynamic scheduling options enable replanning routes when schedules change. 

Customizable smart forms enable paperless data collection, with the ability to co-opt images. Stylized forms digitize paper-based forms. Mobility apps and integrated dashboards keep technicians and managers updated and in control. Integrated invoicing and accounting deliver big efficiency gains and savings. 

In addition, ReachOut also comes with an enterprise edition that allows custom integrations, API access, and extensive white labeling options. The business can customize the modules and adjust them to fit their existing workflows, without going through the difficulties of changes. The investment for the software pays back in a short while.

Learn more about how ReachOut Suite can enhance your appliance repair business capabilities today. Connect with us now!

Digitize your field service operations from scheduling to invoicing with ReachOut. Connect your technicians with the companion mobile app to execute jobs and reduce paperwork in the field. Try ReachOut now and give your customers the fast and quality service they deserve.

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Sachin Krishna

Sachin works as a part of the digital marketing team at ReachOut Suite. He believes in a healthy and resourceful web and does his own little contributions for the purpose by creating and disseminating innovative and quality content.

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